According to a preliminary investigation report on the helicopter crash which took place offshore Norway last April, it is highly likely that the accident was the result of a fatigue fracture.
The news comes as the Accident Investigation Board of Norway (AIBN) releases its fourth preliminary report to disseminate findings from the ongoing investigation into the accident that killed 13 people on April 29 near Bergen.
“At this stage of the investigation, the AIBN finds that the accident most likely was a result of a fatigue fracture in one of the eight second stage planet gears,” the report stated.
Norway Helicopter Crash Information Released
The report added that the fracture appears to have propagated in a way that makes it unlike to “become detected by existing or mandatory or supplementary systems for warning of an imminent failure”.
However, “what initiated the fracture has not yet been determined,” the report concluded.
Helicopter Crash Site, Norway
AIBN added that it will be important to try and determine the origin of the fracture as well as the mechanisms behind its development and explains that the gearbox in question had been involved in a road accident during transport in 2015.
“The gearbox was inspected, repaired and released for flight by the manufacturer before it was installed in LN-OJF in January 2016,” AIBN stated.
“Whether there is a link between this event and the initiation and growth of a fatigue fracture, is being investigated,” it added.
Airbus Crash Killed 13 People
The crash involved a Super Puma helicopter operated by CHC.
On April 29, 2016, the main rotor head and mast suddenly detached from the Airbus helicopter on its way from Gulfaks B to Bergen Airport Flesland.
The helicopter ended up crashing against a small island east of Turøy and all the 13 people on board died.
Previous reports have been issued by the AIBN on May 13, May 27 and June 1, 2016.Last updated on 12:22PM - 30/06/16